A food lover’s guide to Katendrecht

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Rotterdam’s tasty south side

If you are in Rotterdam and belong to the group of people that think: ‘I’ve heard good stuff about Katendrecht but never went there: it’s too far!’, then you’re in luck. Here’s some top tips that will definitely make you want to run, cycle or swim across the Maas immediately.

1.The cafe with the best view ever: former cruise ship the SS Rotterdam, now permanently moored at the end of the pier, has a big restaurant – bar at the back of the ship, the Lido. It’s terrace is truly amazing. Everything was restored in its original 50’s style, including stylish curvy balconies and a mini pool. On top of that, it has a stunning view over the river and city of Rotterdam. So order a cocktail and lounge on the sun deck as if you were Betty or Don Draper.

2. IJssalon Bleij. On the risk of making this place famous, resulting in mile-long queues in front of this little ice cream shop (and thus making my neighbours hate me forever) here’s Katendrecht’s best kept secret: at IJssalon Bleij they also make pizza’s. Good pizza’s. Very Good pizza’s. The owner of the ice cream shop used to be a baker, so he knows his dough. Some friends from Italy came over to teach him the ins and outs of pizza making.  The pizza’s at Bleij are among the top italian pizza’s in the city (comparable to Angelo Betti, Gusto and La Pizza). As any other good pizza place, they don’t deliver. So you’ll have to come over to De Kaap to see for yourself. Do not expect candle light and chianti at this place. It is an ice cream parlour and looks like one.

Update May 2013: Bleij will also be opening a trattoria on Deliplein.

3. Deli Bird. This thai restaurant is cool, welcoming and no-nonsense. And of course they serve good thai food. In summer you can eat outside on the pavement, and enjoy the Katendrecht life on the Deliplein. You could also take a peek at the people who are eating at the neighbours’: De Jonge de Jong.

Update May 2013: Deli Bird is expanding its restaurant space on Deliplein, a second Deli Bird will open on the West-Kruiskade in Rotterdam West.

4. De Jonge de Jong. This table d’hotes restaurant is run by one of Holland’s youngest chefs, Jim de Jong. Apart from a very cool interior design (the wall is covered in delft-blue style graffiti featuring Rotterdam’s heroes) the food is the best. Be sure to make reservations way in advance,  it is a very popular place. If you don’t succeed here, try Kwiezien, a couple of doors to the left. Also great food, atmosphere at reasonable prices. Reservations are advised here as well.

Update 2013: De Jonge de Jong has left Katendrecht, but you should definitely try his new Restaurant De Jong in Rotterdam. It’s great! (even if it’s in the North of Rotterdam…).
De Matroos en het Meisje have taken over the place on Deliplein.  They are a very worthy successor.

5. Kopi Soesoe. A new kid on the square! Kopi Soesoe is a lovely coffee place. The friendly staff serve great toasted sandwiches as well. Top attraction on the menu: play your own vinyl record, for free! On friday and saturday evenings they will host various singer/songwriters. It’s cute, cosy and cool.

6. Warmoesmarkt. This local shop isn’t just for local people. Their lemon curd alone is enough to make you want to move to Katendrecht. They also have fresh cakes, coffee and bread, forgotten vegetables, eco products, and a bird cage.

7. Architecture. You can’t exactly eat architecture, but after all the previous listings – and eating there- you might want to take a stroll around the Katendrecht peninsula. You’ll find and intriguing mix of its past as a lively harbour and sailors quarter, some great modern architecture in the houses at the Walhallalaan, and great views across the harbour. You might also run into Rotterdam’s most cultural mailman, Theo. He is also a finder of lost cats and stolen bicycles.

8. A bridge. From november 2011 Katendrecht is joined to the Wilhelminapier by a bridge (for pedestrians and cyclists only). The bridge connects the Hotel New York/ Montevideo area with Deliplein. As from now on, you will officially have no excuses left not to visit De Kaap.